For the first time in a few years, my job didn't interfere with Festival International (I usually have emceeing gigs or remote broadcasts that prevent me from enjoying the festival).  Shannon and I couldn't make it there Wednesday night, but we were there Thursday through Sunday!

Music, food, friends, fun, beverages, they are all important elements in making any festival successful.  One of the ways that Festival International stands out over some of the other music-intensive festivals I have attended is the abundance of art available from local vendors.

On Thursday night, we concentrated our efforts to the stages and the food booths, but on Friday, within the first 15 minutes of arriving, we went to the art vendor area.  It was apparent that Louisiana, and, in particular, Acadiana has more than a pirogue-full of artists!  Cajun Clay, Jerilyn's Glass, SilverSister Art, Alexis Braud, from Cutoff to Alexandria, from Lake Charles to New Orleans, there was beautiful Louisiana artwork galore!

Shannon, in searching for a Mother's Day gift, came across the Cocodrie booth, featuring  Cajun Stained Glass, and saw the egret painting.  'Cajun Stained Glass' is actually cypress-framed window screens, painted with Louisiana wildlife, the brainchild of Carol Thibodeaux.  (She came up with the idea after a Mardi Gras trip to Mamou, where she saw the revellers' masks made of screen).  Shannon's mom finds the egrets to be one of the most peaceful images on the Cajun landscape, so it was a no-brainer:  the perfect Mother's Day gift!

Carol is just one of the many local artists that we saw at this year's festival;  jewelry, religious art, clay works, cypress, copper, photography, clothing, musical instruments, glass works, all done locally!

Maybe I should have done this story BEFORE Festival International, but now you know:  next year, if you have never done so, make time to visit the art vendors.  You may just find 'that' piece you need for your mantle (or patio, or camp, or living room, etc!), made by an Acadiana artist who might live just up the road!

Thanks to the Festival International 'family' for another fun, amazing festival!